Last week we revealed that Intead has once again conducted a mystery shopper experiment. This week we reveal the big winners! Read on to discover if your institution made the list...
Let’s talk about the winners!
There were several institutions that impressed us with the kinds of responses they sent “Ms. Bahl.” We've recognized those institutions (above) and will further elaborate on some of the institutions that most impressed us.
On Facebook Massey University (New Zealand) sent a link to their international student site with a compelling image. On Twitter they included a link to the international student site, a smiley face (the smiley face goes a long way!) and within 5 minutes asked “Ms. Bahl” her area of interest and followed her on Twitter.
The University of Melbourne (Australia) sent a lengthy response to our Facebook inquiry including separate links to the course search catalog, the international student site, and the study abroad/exchange student site. U. of Melbourne has a coordinated social media response—the Twitter response to our inquiry was personal and friendly: “I've just commented on your Facebook post with information for future international students. Thanks, Jessica.” All of that in less than an hour after our inquiry was sent!
The University of Winnipeg (Canada) included links for international student admission requirements, programs offered, tuition fees, housing, and the website for the admissions office. In addition a comprehensive site with specific information for Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Brazilian, Indian, and other nationalities was included in the Facebook response. The Twitter response reflected a personal, friendly nature: “Hi, I've replied to your message on FB. We look forward to hearing from you. :)” Let’s be honest, the smiley face actually does add a lot to the message!
Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH, USA) was one of the fastest, friendliest responders in the U.S. They showed coordination in their Facebook and Twitter responses. On Facebook they asked “Aahana” if she saw their Twitter post. The responses included links to the international student site. All of that in less than two hours!
Some institutions sent responses but told “Ms. Bahl” she should visit their website but failed to include the link. These institutions receive partial credit for their effort. Yes, they replied to the inquiry but they failed to provide an easy way for the student to access additional information.
It’s customer service, people! It’s important to take the time to put in the extra effort to provide the least number of barriers for prospective students to learn about your institution.
Now that you’ve read this, are you thinking about your own social media response rates? Do you have a system for replying efficiently and personally to student inquiries made via social media? Maybe you’re even wondering if you were a part of our experiment.
Out of courtesy to our colleagues around the world we won’t publicly reveal the institutions surveyed in our experiment. However if you’re curious whether you were included, please contact us. We’ll be happy to let you know.
And remember, the three key features of a successful social media contact: timely, personal, relevant. Then behind the scenes, monitor everything!
Special thanks to Vanessa Zhu for providing research support and analysis.